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Life in Boulder
The city of Boulder, home to about 104,000 residents, is situated in a valley against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The average summer temperature reaches 80 to 90 degrees during the day, but tends to cool off at night. It can get as cold as 40 degrees. On rare occasions it gets as hot as 100 degrees, but the low humidity makes it bearable. Bring a fleece jacket or warm jacket for cold nights, including possible field excursions to the mountains.
Bring a raincoat as Boulder can get afternoon thunderstorms that are real soakers! Bring good footwear for hiking in, such a good pair of running shoes, as we will be taking field trips.
Boulder’s elevation is 5,430 feet above sea level. Because of the altitude, the sunshine can be very intense. Even if you’re not prone to sunburn, you should use protective sunscreen in Colorado. Those of you coming from sea level may feel tired during your first few days here as you adapt to the high altitude. Our advice is to minimize physical exertion, drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol during your first couple of days here. You may find yourself using gallons of hand/body lotion, and carrying lip balm as you get used to our arid climate.
Boulder is a university town. The nearest metropolitan area is Denver, approximately 30 miles from Boulder. The art museum, natural history museum, zoo, the Colorado Rockies baseball stadium, and other places of interest in Denver are all easily accessible using the bus system.
If you enjoy hiking or biking, this is the town for you. You can rent or buy a used bicycle and take advantage of the miles of biking trails throughout our city. Bring those hiking boots, too. The trails in and around Boulder range from easy to very, very difficult—the choice is yours.
For more information on things to do in Boulder visit the following website links:
What to Bring
- Driver’s License + 1 of the following: Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, or Passport
- Permanent Resident Card (if applicable)
- Medical Insurance card
- Casual work clothes
- Professional business clothes (for your presentations and reception invitations)
- Rain jacket
- Summer fun clothes (shorts, t-shirts, jeans, etc.)
- Sunglasses and hat/cap, water bottle (Boulder is one of the sunniest cities in America!)
- Hiking boots/tennis shoes
- Sweaters/light jackets (layer dressing is a plus—plan on periodic cool weather, especially when visiting mountain locations)
Fun and Practical
- Alarm clock
- Pillow (if you have a special one!)
- Large towel; UNAVCO will provide you with hand towels and smaller bath towels.
- Backpack or bag (To carry stuff on day trips or hikes)
- Games, puzzles; the apartments do not have TVs
- Camping gear (many interns camp during their summers here)
- Sunscreen (bring plenty to save your skin)
- Bike (You can ship your bike to Boulder – or you can take it on the plane with you. Either option is at your own expense. Typically the airlines charge $50 each way plus about $25 for a box, but you will need to confirm the cost with your airline.) NOTE: Super Shuttle will charge an additional $10 per bike.
Be sure to bring enough money with you to cover your groceries and entertainment for the first two weeks.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to airline checked baggage charges, it is advisable to ship a majority of your items to UNAVCO and take only a carryon of essentials. The same holds true upon your departure.